The Cubs’ British invasion began on a promising note as they blitzed Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in London Saturday. Chicago built a big lead and coasted to their fourth straight victory at the football pitch normally occupied by West Ham United.
Ian Happ struck the first blow with a solo home run off of Wainwright in the top of the 2nd inning. Nick Madrigal continued his improved play of late with an RBI single later in the frame. The Cubs got an excellent start from Justin Steele, who did not allow a hit through the first four innings.
Happ’s dominance over the Cardinals’ veteran starter continued with his second homer of the day in the 3rd. Back-to-back run-scoring singles from Christopher Morel and Yan Gomes built Chicago’s advantage to 5-0, at which point it was clear Wainwright was cooked. A 4th inning Mike Tauchman RBI double finally ended the starter’s night and the Cardinals were down 7-0 halfway through the game.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 24, 2023
Steele would surrender just a single tally in six strong frames and the contest was basically over when he left. Dansby Swanson added a two-run dinger in the 9th and the North Siders’ bullpen easily closed out the 9-1 victory. (Box score)
Wainwright was shaky and the Cubs jumped all over him and did not let him get off the hook. They built up a quick lead and put a bunch of pressure on the Cardinals, which they could not respond to.
Why the Cubs Won
They did not let the unusual environment throw them off their game and continued to hit well. Combined with another quality start from the rotation, this game was a laugher.
Stats That Matter
- Steele has looked as sharp as ever in his two outings after straining his forearm: 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 8 K, and 1 BB.
- Happ now has six career home runs against Wainwright.
- Swanson reached base four times with two walks and a single in addition to the homer.
- The bottom three hitters in the Cubs lineup combined for seven hits and three RBI on Saturday.
Turns out beating the Cardinals in London is just as fun as beating them in the United States. Chicago’s lineup suddenly looks formidable from top to bottom and the return of Justin Steele solidifies the rotation. This has been a terrific road trip for the Cubs regardless of what happens on Sunday.
Amazing experience pic.twitter.com/3b2Vkd4FiM
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) June 24, 2023
The final game of the London series offers some breakfast baseball Sunday at 9:10am CT. Marcus Stroman will face a yet to be named Cardinals pitcher after Jack Flaherty was scratched with an injury and ESPN has the exclusive television coverage. If you would like to avoid Alex Rodriguez, you can listen to the radio on 670 The Score.